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The Importance of Self-love

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“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha

The above quote is so true. Often, we spend so much time and emotional energy loving others and treating them right that we forget to do the same for ourselves.

In fact, the first time I did a real boudoir photo shoot, it was a gift for my partner at the time. Now, thanks to my partnership with Parfait Lingerie, I’ve donned lingerie for half a dozen photoshoots. Instead of taking beautiful pictures to make someone else smile, I do it for myself. I get to be the one delighted by the beautiful images of myself in barely anything all in an effort to celebrate self-love and body positivity. I hope that my photos inspire other women to love their bodies exactly as they are, “flaws” and all.

But, if they don’t…oh effing welI, I did it for me first. Just as you always should.

They say to put your oxygen mask on first. Well, do it, damn it.

In case you needed to hear this today: Take care of you before you take care of everyone else. Self-care is so very important, babes. And, as femmes, women, people of color, queer folks…our needs are often left unmet by others. So, we’ve got to take action and do something about it!

I love taking long, hot baths and getting mani-pedis. And I also enjoy taking pictures in lingerie, (obvi). There’s something really powerful about a plus size queer femme of color owning and loving her body and sharing that self-love with the world. It’s pretty radical, if you ask me.

So, where will you begin? Do you already have a self-care routine? If so, what does it involve? Let me know in the comments.

I can’t wait to hear all of your tips and tricks, loves!

Until next time…

xo,

Amy

Parfait Lingerie Plus size lingerie

Parfait Lingerie Plus size lingerie
*Thank you to Parfait Lingerie for sponsoring this post and for the lovely lingerie. As always, the views expressed in this post (and every post) are my true and honest opinions.

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Red Hot

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“When in doubt, wear red.” –Bill Blass

Is it just me or is the color red everywhere? At first I thought maybe it was just because of the holidays…then Valentine’s Day…but, nope. Red – especially candy apple red – is here. So, move out of the way! Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have to have seen it too. Red is having a major moment right now.

I remember late last year when Eloquii released their faux leather moto jacket in this glorious shade of candy red, I knew I just had to have it. So, I immediately put myself on their waitlist and waited and waited and waited. (Admittedly, I wasn’t very patient either. I contacted customer service several times asking them when they’d be releasing more red moto jackets.) I had a furious determination to get my hands on that jacket when finally one day I received the e-mail all #XOQers look forward to: “Good things come to those who wait” read the subject line. I don’t know if I’ve ever been more happy to receive an e-mail from Eloquii!

I snatched up that jacket along with the accordion pleat midi skirt in the same shade. I had a vision…and this was it.

I rocked this look for V-day, but it works for any occasion when you want to stand out and make a statement. I recently wore this ensemble to an LA blogger event and I got so many compliments, it was (almost) embarrassing. 

If you want to take your look up a notch (or several) snag something in red – and make it quick!

If you’ve already taken notice of the trend and have incorporated something red into your wardrobe, tell me about it in the comments. I’d love some more ideas on how to rock this must have color.

xo,

Amy

Amy Stretten Chief of Style at a pizza parlor in Hollywood, California wearing a red eloquii moto jacket and a red eloquii tuelle skirt

Amy Stretten Chief of Style at a pizza parlor in Hollywood, California wearing a red eloquii moto jacket and a red eloquii tuelle skirt

Amy Stretten Chief of Style at a pizza parlor in Hollywood, California wearing a red eloquii moto jacket and a red eloquii tuelle skirt

Amy Stretten Chief of Style at a pizza parlor in Hollywood, California wearing a red eloquii moto jacket and a red eloquii tuelle skirt

Amy Stretten Chief of Style at a pizza parlor in Hollywood, California wearing a red eloquii moto jacket and a red eloquii tuelle skirt

Outfit details: Jacket: Eloquii | Shirt: Target | Skirt: Eloquii | Shoes: Macy’s | Bag: Alexander Wang

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Making my Apartment a Home with Satin and Slate Interiors

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“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”Maya Angelou

I move a lot. School, internships and jobs have taken me to a number of cities: Los Angeles, Boston, D.C., San Francisco, New York, Miami and back home to L.A…the Bay Area again and then back to L.A.! That’s not even including my time in Canada and Spain. Basically, I’ve lived all over.

Recently, I moved into a new apartment in West Hollywood and I want to stay put for a while. It was really important to make my new apartment feel like home. So, I enlisted the help of my good friend LindsayRenee Kennedy, co-owner of Southern California design house Satin and Slate Interiors (Instagram: @satinandslate).

Together, we organized my apartment (I had a ton of purging to do!) and went shopping for furniture, art and accessories. I’m now officially obsessed with HomeGoods, but we also found some items at Ross, Overstock, Target, Amazon and, of course, Craigslist. I wanted a grown up apartment that felt unique, so I kept my IKEA purchases to a minimum.

Here’s what we were able to do with less than $2,500.

But, what about you? Where do you shop for home goods? Do you have any tips for making your house feel like a home? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Amy

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style wearing Parfait Lingerie apartment makeover with LindsayRenee Kennedy of Satin and Slate

 

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Self-love and Happiness at Any Size

Body Positivity Collaborations Featured 0 Comments

“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance” – Oscar Wilde

I’ve been on every weight loss plan you can think of. I had a nutritionist at age 12 and a personal trainer by the time I was 13; I’ve been a weight watcher (several times) and tried being friends with Jenny Craig (twice); I’ve taken diet pills and even considered scheduling a consultation with my doctor to discuss gastric bypass surgery. Whether a size 6 or a 16, I have always wanted to fix my weight “problem.”

I spent every January planning my new diet and scheduling daily workouts. I’d convince my friends to be my accountability partners. Waist trainers, pedometers and trackers, health apps, new workout clothes and counting calories…I’ve done it all. I thought the only way I’d ever be happy was to be thin and the only way to be thin was to hate the weight off. No matter how many weight loss programs I followed or how many inches I lost, I still hated my body and I hated myself. I was miserable and clinically depressed. I honestly can’t think of a time in my life when I was truly happy.

That is, until last year.

Last January, I didn’t make a resolution to lose 20, 40 or 60 pounds. Instead, I made a resolution to fall madly in love with myself.

Until last year, I never knew you could love yourself and be confident in your own skin and be curvy, thick or even fat. I thought self-esteem was something only physically fit people could have. But now I know the secret.

All you have to do to be happy is make the choice to be.

Over the past year, I’ve made a conscious decision every day, every second possible, to love myself and be happy. I choose happiness at every turn. When I could choose to be negative, I, instead, see the positive no matter the situation. I spend time thinking about my ideal outcomes rather than fearing the worst. I put my thoughts and attention into what I want rather than what I don’t. I’m not perfect at it, but 9 out of 10 I’m aware and able to ‘choose happy.’ And it has made a world of difference in my life! Not only do people receive me more positively, I just feel so much lighter. I’m finally floating through life.

Have you ever struggled with loving yourself? What did or do you do to stay happy? Please share in the comments!

xo,

Amy

* This Valentine’s Day, Parfait Lingerie is doing a two-part giveaway called the “Love Your Body Sweepstakes.” To learn how to enter, go here.

This month, I’m wearing Parfait Lingerie’s Ava . This set is possibly my favorite that Parfait makes. I love the lace detail combined with the gorgeous tropical print. And, the buttons on both the bra and panty are so adorable!

Don’t know where to buy Parfait Lingerie? Click here.

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign

Thank you to Parfait Lingerie for sponsoring this post as part of their 2018 #PerfectFigure campaign.

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Win 2 Tickets to The CurvyCon in New York City and Free Lingerie Courtesy of Parfait Lingerie

Body Positivity Collaborations Featured 0 Comments

“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” – Louise L. Hay

Hello and happy New Year! Can you believe it’s 2018!?

As I recently announced, I am partnering with Parfait Lingerie on their 2018 #PerfectFigure campaign. If you haven’t heard of Parfait Lingerie, they’re making a name for themselves as having really beautiful lingerie for cup sizes A-K, a size range that is almost unheard of! (Yay for sexy bras for larger bust sizes!)

As part of our partnership, I will be blogging monthly about self-love and body positivity and sharing photos I’ve shot in their lingerie.

This month, I’m wearing Sandrine in cameo rose. What I love most about this set is the longline bra. It features lace detailing and has a retro/vintage feel. The matching panties are in a cheeky low cut boy short style and in a matching color lace. Sandrine comes in four colors: cameo rose, black, french blue, and the eye catching wild pink. This truly is one of my favorite sets Parfait Lingerie makes. Don’t know where to buy Parfait Lingerie? Click here.

Guess what! I have something super exciting to share…Parfait Lingerie is doing a two-part Valentine’s Day Giveaway this year called the “Love Your Body Sweepstakes.”

Part One

The first prize is two (2) tickets to The CurvyCon to (1) lucky winner as well as $500 towards travel. (Either $500 for roundtrip flights to NYC or $500 American Express gift card to use towards ground transportation if the winner already lives in or near NYC.)

To enter, you must upload a picture of your body’s ‘perfect’ imperfection to at least one (1) social media platform (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram). For example: stretch marks, vitiligo, freckles, a tattoo you regret, etc. The more images uploaded, the more entries you will have. You must tag Parfait’s handle, as well as caption our hashtag #PerfectFigure.

Part Two
In addition, I will select one (1) winner to win two (2) sets of lingerie from Parfait Lingerie. To enter, you must tag my social media handle (@ChiefofStyle on IG / @TheChiefofStyle on Facebook / @AmyStretten on Twitter) to the image(s) you have uploaded. So, along with the instructions above, you must also tag my handle to win the two (2) lingerie sets. The winner will receive two (2) lingerie sets of their choice.
You must be subscribed to my blog and following my Instagram (@ChiefofStyle) to win. The sweepstakes begins January 1, 2018 and ends February 14, 2018Here are the official rules.
You must tag Parfait Lingerie where you post as well (on Instagram @ParfaitOfficial / Twitter @ParfaitLingerie / Facebook @ParfaitLingerie) . Good luck!
I hope 2018 brings you so much love and happiness.
xo,

Amy

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign

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